Justice Minister Tudorel Toader announced on Thursday that he starts the dismissal procedure regarding the head of DNA. He stated that after presenting the report on the managerial activity at DNA, DNA must continue to function legally, and that it doesn’t identify with the person who rules it.
“I noted the excessively authoritarian behavior. In July 2017, I asked a control to be conducted by the Judicial Inspection at DNA. The content of the control report mentions a number of difficulties that the inspectors had to face, including disciplinary misconduct committed by the DNA Chief-Prosecutor, in order to prevent the checks” Toader also said.
He also accused Kovesi of involving in the investigations conducted by other prosecutors and of excessively authoritarian behavior.
“This kind of behavior wasn’t corrected over the time, but it aggravated the problem, as revealed by the public appearances” the Minister stated.
He also invoked the prioritization of solving the cases with a Media impact.
Toader also referred to the tough criticism of the DNA head on certain projects, accusing politicians and businessmen of striking at cleaning one of the most corrupt countries.
“The attempt to obtain convictions at any cost, given that it was asserted that we most come with important cases, to reach high-ranking people, this attempt is absolutely against any rule of law”, the Minister added.
Report drafted against the backdrop of debates that have divided the public opinion in the last year
Justice Minister Tudorel Toader went before journalists on Thursday evening with the long-awaited report on the DNA’s managerial activity. Toader pointed out that the report has been drafted against the backdrop of debates that have divided the public opinion in the last year.
“The drafting of this report comes against the backdrop of the debates that have taken place in the last year, which have divided the public opinion and have generated unprecedented attacks, endangering even the rule of law,” Toader said, pointing out that the 36-page document is based on 20 points based on events registered in the last year. He announced that the whole document will be available on the ministry’s website.
“The report concerns the managerial activity of the DNA Chief Prosecutor, and the basis of analysis is different from the report reviewing the activity of the DNA, a report that will be presented in Parliament”.
The minister pointed out that this was a presentation of the report, not a press conference.
“We have a judicial system – some say good, others say bad. Justice must be equal for all, must be in the service of the citizen, must be good, not bad too. Six months ago marked six months since I took office. The bills amending the judicial bills have been adopted, with some modifications – it’s true –, several solutions were declared unconstitutional, will be modified by Parliament, in the end will be promulgated, will be published in the Official Journal. I took over the office of Justice Minister a year ago. The office of prosecutor is absolutely respectable if exercised within the limits of constitutional prerogatives – with good will, to serve the public good, values that represent one of the exigencies of the rule of law. Personally, I started my professional activity exercising the office of prosecutor,” Toader started his speech.
“I started off by asking the Judicial Inspection to carry out a verification of substance at the DNA, against the backdrop in which no verification had been carried out in the last 10 years. If I were to jump directly to the conclusions, I’d tell you that they are based on 20 points that present 20 categories of documents and actions that took place from February 2017 to February 2018.
“Firstly, I noted an unprecedented situation within the rapports between public authorities. Three conflicts in which the DNA was called before the Constitutional Court were registered in a single year. Three conflicts in which the Constitutional Court of Romania censured behaviour lacking loyalty on the part of the DNA Chief Prosecutor. I pointed out that in and of itself, finding a single such conflict does not result in the dismissal of the leader of the institution that caused the conflict,” Toader stated.
The report reveals the excessively authoritarian and discretionary behavior of the DNA Chief. She was involved into other prosecutors’ investigations. She supervised the investigation in the case of GEO 13
Justice Minister Tudorel Toader stated on Thursday evening that starting a criminal investigation which resulted in raids at the Justice Ministry, caused a state of tension and actually blocked the Government’s activity as a legislator.
“Starting a wide criminal investigation which resulted in raids at the Justice Ministry, in collecting documents, in hearing a large number of public servants, state secretaries and ministers, caused a state of tension, causing the premises of a blockage” Tudorel Toader stated.
Justice Minister criticized the fact that the DNA prosecutors actually arrogated competences they didn’t have.
“The Government is blocked in its work as a legislator. The Court also said that, by its behavior, DNA arrogated a competence it didn’t have, namely the control of the way of adopting a normative act, which affected the smooth work of an authority. Therefore, CCR found the existence of a legal conflict of a constitutional nature, noting also the conduct which DNA had to follow” Toader added.
Tudorel Toader mentioned that, in 14 years, the Constitutional Court found 13 conflicts between state institutions, of which two were caused by DNA in 2017.
Justice Minister Tudorel Toader announced on Thursday that the report on the managerial activity at DNA is based on 20 categories and facts, the first item referring to the conflicts of a constitutional nature in relation with other institutions.
“The conclusions are grounded on 20 items presenting 20 categories of acts and facts that were mentioned. The report mentions the facts for the period February 2017 – February 2018” Tudorel Toader stated.
The Minister announced that the first item refers to DNA’s relations with other institutions.
“An unprecedented situation – the relations between the Romanian public authorities. There are three legal conflicts of a constitutional nature in one year. The Court found that DNA violated the Constitution” Toader also said.
Justice Minister’s main statements:
- According to Article 51 of law no.303/2004, the assessment of the DNA leadership’s activity is carried out on the basis of criteria.
- I have analysed the DNA Chief Prosecutor’s efficient organisation, behaviour, communication, and managerial capability.
- The conclusions are based on 20 points, 20 categories of documents and actions registered from February 2017 to January 2018.
- An unprecedented situation in the rapports between Romanian authorities. There were three juridical conflicts of a constitutional nature, the CCR censuring the unconstitutional behaviour of the DNA’s leadership on two occasions.
- In less than half a year, the DNA was once again summoned before the CCR for constitutional conflicts.
- Since 2004, the CCR has noted the existence of 13 cases of juridical conflicts of a constitutional nature, out of 31 notifications. Two of them in 2017, caused by the DNA.
- The hearing of a high number of civil servants has generated tensions and has gridlocked the passing of laws. The Government is blocked in its activity as legislator, the CCR noted in Decision no.68/2017.
- The Public Ministry lacks the competence to verify the advisability/circumstances of the issuance of a Government’s legislative act.
- Likewise, the CCR established that Laura Kovesi refused to go before the committee of inquiry into the 2009 elections. The CCR noted that a blockage was created in the activity of the committee of inquiry.
- The CCR also established that the DNA Chief Prosecutor refused any collaboration with Parliament by not going before the committee.
- The CCR has established that the DNA cannot probe the infringement of legislative procedure.
- I noted the excessively authoritarian and discretionary behaviour on the part of the DNA Chief Prosecutor.
- I ordered an audit at the DNA. The auditors were hindered by the DNA Chief Prosecutor.
- The Judicial Inspection’s report reveals the DNA Chief Prosecutor’s authoritarian, discretionary behaviour.
- The DNA Chief Prosecutor personally monitored the prosecutors’ probe into Government Emergency Ordinance no.13. She got involved in another prosecutor’s probe, which is forbidden by law.
- The DNA Chief Prosecutor criticised legislative acts that were being debated. She also criticised legislative acts that were subsequently upheld by the CCR.
- The attempt to obtain convictions at any cost. This attempt, “stripping,” as she called it, goes absolutely against the rule of law. Cases must not be solved based on the accused person’s office.
- The rise in acquittals, expenditures, and erroneous reports.
- Reported are the number of defendants indicted in 2016, the number of acquittals in 2016, with the conclusion that the acquittal rate dropped. The two aggregates do not overlap.
- The Chief Prosecutor’s lack of involvement in identifying and eliminating abusive acts allegedly committed by prosecutors. The public space is full of abuses allegedly committed by ex-prosecutor Mircea Negulescu, which were not investigated.
- The falsifying of wiretap transcripts. Many dossiers were sent back to the prosecutor on this account.
Protest outside the Justice Ministry headquarters
Approximately one hour before the minister’s press statement started, several dozen persons gathered outside the Justice Ministry headquarters, shouting slogans against the DNA Chief Prosecutor and President Klaus Iohannis, carrying placards bearing anti-DNA messages and demanding the sacking of DNA Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi. The people also carried oranges and placards reading “Too much KLEMMency, too much KOVileness; Toader, show dignity!”
Statements before presentation of Justice Minister’s Report
Since Monday, when Tudorel Toader announced on Facebook that on Thursday he will present the Report regarding the DNA, several Social Democratic leaders have stated that they also expect the announcement of measures, including a proposition to have DNA Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi dismissed from office, a proposition that would have to be approved by President Klaus Iohannis. Against the backdrop in which the Head of State stated as early as last week that there are no grounds for the dismissal of the DNA Chief. Iohannis stated on that occasion that “some lawbreakers are making a desperate attempt to attack and discredit the DNA and the leadership” of that institution, stating that this attempt is “pathetic and unconvincing” and confirming that the DNA “is doing a very good job.”
Also last week, DNA Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi stated she would not resign, claiming that DNA prosecutors are not falsifying evidence despite the recordings that former House lawmaker Vlad Cosma (PSD) made public.
The public opinion expected with great interest the presentation of Tudorel Toader’s Report, against the backdrop of the scandal surrounding the DNA, after PSD lawmaker Andreea Cosma and her brother Vlad Cosma recently made a series of revelations regarding the activity of DNA Ploiesti prosecutors. Moreover, Vlad Cosma, the son of the former Chairman of the Prahova County Council, presented several recordings made at the headquarters of DNA Ploiesti, and accused several DNA Ploiesti prosecutors – including Lucian Onea and Mircea Negulescu – of falsifying evidence. The ex-lawmaker also lodged a criminal complaint against the magistrates.
As a result of the scandal in which the names of DNA prosecutors were mentioned, Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar on Wednesday asked the chief prosecutors of the DNA and DIICOT to start audits in all prosecutor’s offices in the country, in order to discover potential internal risks and vulnerabilities.
Prosecutor General before Justice Minister presents his Report on DNA’s activity: There is no grounded reason to dismiss the DNA Chief Prosecutor, who has been clearly working within the framework of the law. Defendants endowed with resources are playing their last card
Several hours before Justice Minister Tudorel Toader was set to present the Report on the National Anticorruption Directorate’s (DNA) managerial activity, Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar stated in an interview for RFI that the DNA’s activity is efficient and there is no kind of grounded reason to dismiss DNA Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi, who is clearly working within the framework of the law. He said that “defendants endowed with resources are playing their last card.”
“We must know that in this sensitive domestic context regarding the amending of the judicial laws, regarding important dossiers nearing completion, dossiers that concern persons with public activity, the DNA in particular, but also the DIICOT, are exposed bodies, criticised bodies, especially through their leaders. There is no kind of grounded reason to dismiss the DNA Chief Prosecutor, who is clearly working within the framework of the law,” Augustin Lazar told RFI.
He said the activity of the DNA leadership is “clearly efficient,” prosecutors were very efficient, and that is why they are also highly criticised.
“We can understand the emotions, and the criticism levelled by persons who claim they did not enjoy a fair trial, that evidence that was not obtained legally was used, these are defences that all defendants use, but we notice that defendants endowed with resources, persons with considerable material means and who are held accountable for their guilty acts, have the capacity to express themselves publicly via TV shows, with which they want to produce certain emotion and to somehow influence those who should solve their dossiers. There are dossiers nearing the trial court, others the appeal court, and the final decisions will remain standing. They are playing their last card. Consequently, the activity of the DNA leadership is clearly efficient. They were very efficient, that is why they are highly criticised,” the Prosecutor General stated.
Asked whether he has anything to reproach the DNA Chief with, considering that Laura Codruta Kovesi has been accused of lack of transparency, Augustin Lazar said: “The Public Ministry’s transparency is limited by certain guidelines. We are carrying out a criminal prosecution activity, we’re not engaged in a media show, to explain ourselves all day long, to be on television, to explain why citizen X or citizen Y was caught red-handed and that the means, the evidence used were truly legal. The premise is that we are working legally, and the judge that comes and verifies any complaint filed by the person concerned is the one who has the competence to decide whether the piece of evidence is legally obtained or to remove it from the criminal trial proceedings. This isn’t something that the Chief Prosecutor of the Directorate, of the Section, or the Prosecutor General should do, to explain in each case that the evidence was obtained legally.”
Dancila, message for JusMin before presentation of the Report: I don’t believe I must have a talk with the Justice Minister; he must do his duty, within the legal limits
Premier Viorica Dancila stated on Thursday that she does not believe she must meet the Justice Minister before he presents the report on the activity of the DNA, adding that she expects him to do his duty. Regarding the cutting short of his visit in Japan, the Premier said the measure was called for because “what had appeared in the public space had created concern.”
“I don’t believe I must have a discussion with the Justice Minister. The judiciary must do its duty, the minister must do his duty. I’ll see what [the] decision [is] and what were the minister’s starting points when he comes out publicly. I have nothing to discuss about the decisions he must take, because I don’t believe it’s normal for me to discuss this,” Dancila said.
Asked what her expectations are, bearing in mind that Liviu Dragnea has stated he expects Tudorel Toader not to embarrass himself, she said she wants Toader to be within legal limits.
“I expect the minister to be within legal limits, to observe the law, to carry out an objective analysis and to adopt the decisions required, of course related to the analysis he carried out,” the Premier added.
She brought clarifications regarding the decision to recall the Justice Minister from his visit in Japan, stating that what had appeared in the public space had created concern, and this must be judged by those entitled to do so.
“I’ve seen that in the public space there was the information that the minister allegedly did not meet Japanese officials, and this would be yet another diplomatic blunder. (…) No, we discussed, I told him he should meet the Japanese Justice Minister. He was supposed to pay several other visits to see the judicial system there. I told him to return to the country because what had appeared in the public space had generated concern and I believe such things must be judged by those entitled to do so,” Viorica Dancila explained.
Dragnea expects Justice Minister not to embarrass himself
PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Wednesday that the judiciary was not discussed during the Social Democrats’ meeting, but said he expects the Justice Minister not to embarrass himself.
“He shouldn’t embarrass himself,” Dragnea said when asked, after PSD’s National Standing Bureau meeting, what are his expectations on the Justice Minister.
Asked whether Toader embarrassed himself when presenting the previous report, Dragnea said: “I don’t even remember anymore.” Asked whether replacing Toader would be called for, if his report is considered unsatisfying, Dragnea said: “Are we starting with hypotheticals again?”
Deputy PM Paul Stanescu, asked what his expectations on the JusMin are: I’m saying what the PSD President said – he shouldn’t embarrass himself
On Thursday, journalists asked Deputy Premier Paul Stanescu what his expectations on Justice Minister Tudorel Toader are, who on Thursday evening was set to announce his decision regarding the leadership of the DNA. The Deputy PM said he has the same message as PSD President Liviu Dragnea: “he shouldn’t embarrass himself.”
“What the party president said – he shouldn’t embarrass himself,” Paul Stanescu stated when asked by journalist what his expectations on Justice Minister Tudorel Toader are.
Paul Stanescu made the statements at the Supreme Court, who analyses the DNA’s request to confirm the re-opening of the criminal probe in a dossier that concerns him, regarding the way FC Aluminiu ALRO Slatina was financed by the Olt County Council during his stint at the helm of the County Council.
Badalau: I expect the JusMin to observe the law; during the elections campaign we promised we’ll eliminate abuses and he must do what his job description says
PSD Executive President Niculae Badalau stated on Wednesday he expects Justice Minister Tudorel Toader to observe the law, because during the elections campaign the PSD promised to stop abuses. He stated he is not in the position to say whether Toader should be dismissed.
“He should observe the law. This means the minister is a member of our Government. During the elections campaign we promised to eliminate abuses, and the minister must observe the law and do what his job description says. I understand he is analysing maturely, wisely, it’s not an easy decision and he must have all the information,” Niculae Badalau said.
Asked whether the dismissal of Tudorel Toader is possible, Badalau said: “I don’t believe I can say this, but I’m convinced he’s a good Justice Minister, as long as we support him, and he is doing good things. Your [the press’s] expectations are bigger.”
Ponta: Klaus Iohannis and Dragnea have already negotiated, Kovesi will finish her term
In a phone interview with Antena3 on Wednesday evening, ex-Premier Victor Ponta stated that things have definitely been settled.
“Klaus Iohannis and Liviu Dragnea have already negotiated. What does it matter what Tudorel Toader said? Mrs Kovesi will finish her term. No paragraph, no word, no letter, nothing has been changed in the judicial laws. If the Justice Minister does nothing, Dragnea – who is Romania’s boss – does nothing, what am I to do? They should have demanded it yesterday, they should have demanded it by December 31, they should have demanded it before Rusanu was acquitted, when several acquittals were ruled. It’s a rigged political game, that’s how I interpret it; if it hasn’t been done by now, it won’t be done any more. Mrs Kovesi will finish her term,” Ponta said, who continued his war with PSD President Liviu Dragnea.
“Only Dragnea goes to Cotroceni, I don’t. I’m a lawbreaker. They seized my home. Let’s see if the Justice Minister does anything. If the Judicial Inspection were to invite me, obviously I’d present these things,” Ponta added.
The ex-Premier also referred to Vlad Cosma’s revelations, according to which Ponta’s dossier, handled by DNA Prahova, was allegedly based on false denunciations dictated by prosecutors. “I don’t have direct evidence, but I don’t believe Mr Orange and Mr Savu [did that] without Mrs Kovesi knowing about it and approving it. Then, she gave hour-long details from the dossier. Orange went to court and said that if they remand me on judicial control I won’t be allowed to run in the parliamentary elections, because that’s what the PSD statute says. I have a lien on my home, placed by Mr Savu and Mr Orange,” Victor Ponta stated for Antena3.
On Wednesday evening, Vlad Cosma presented a new DNA Ploiesti recording. How a dossier was being fabricated against Victor Ponta. Ex-PM’s reaction
Former House lawmaker Vlad Cosma presented on Wednesday a new recording in which, he claims, one can hear how DNA Ploiesti prosecutors Mircea Negulescu and Albert Savu dictate and basically write themselves the statement set to be then attributed to him, in the dossier concerning Victor Ponta and Tony Blair.
Victor Ponta claims the two prosecutors worked 100 percent with political dossiers, and the goal was to eliminate him from political life. “Orange and Savu’s entire activity had a 100-percent political purpose. They were fabricating evidence, blackmailing witnesses, lying to judges – all that to open criminal dossiers against me so that I wouldn’t run in 2016 and I wouldn’t help the PSD in the elections campaign,” Victor Ponta stated for RomaniaTV, pointing out that Bogdan Buzaianu is a DNA protected witness.
“I was shocked not that they were fabricating evidence, pressuring witnesses, simply fabricating dossiers against me. It was September 2016, the moment when it had to be decided whether I was to run for Parliament… It’s a communist set-up, worthy of the 1950s. Some blatant lies. I mean I invited Blair in February, and I ran in Targu-Jiu in December… as if the people there listen to what Blair is saying… Those guys were fabricating evidence. That’s what they were doing, but I had no way of proving it. Do you want me to tell you how I tried for 15 minutes to explain to Uncheselu what the VAT means and he didn’t understand? He opens tax evasion dossiers against people and he doesn’t know what the VAT is! I was lucky… the luck of running into a good physician or a bad physician. The judges read what was in the dossier and smashed it in Orange’s head. It’s like a story for fools… they had so much nerve because they knew nothing would happen to them. Even today my house is seized on account of this dossier. They also wanted to seize the assets that my wife obtained before our marriage and the lawyer explained to them they should seize only mine, but I own only an apartment. I had a relationship of friendship with Sebastian Ghita, of collaboration… I wasn’t threatening Ghita – ‘give me some money for Blair or I won’t include you on the list.’ He ran for USL, they signed those lists and the [electoral] colleges were distributed in September at the famous meeting in Murighiol… Was I telling Ghita in February what we were going to discuss in September in Murighiol? If the Judicial Inspection were to invite me, obviously I’d go and tell these things, but it never did. If the Justice Minister isn’t doing anything, Dragnea isn’t doing anything… you journalists are still doing something,” Ponta reacted on RomaniaTV.
Tariceanu: We left the Justice Minister the constitutional powers to analyze what he thinks necessary related to DNA; we respect this commitment not to involve politics in Justice
Senate’s Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated on Thursday that he doesn’t want politics to be involved in Justice, for which reason he left the Justice Minister Tudorel Toader to announce what he thinks he has to announce when he will present the report on the DNA’s activity.
“No, we didn’t talk anymore, and all of you know (…) that he will make a press statement, I don’t know exactly and we’ll see what is his decision (…) There is a number or a series of stages that do not depend on the Parliament. In the case of the Minister’s action, as you know, prosecutors are functioning under the Minister’s authority, so he is in charge with the announcement, even if it is a subject of a great public interest. But he hasn’t any role to play in this regard” Tariceanu stated.
He said that he doesn’t want politics to interfere with Justice, for which reason he left Tudorel Toader all the constitutional powers regarding the decision related to DNA.
“I don’t know if he did this, but yes, we are the political leaders, but this is exactly the discussion in the society, in public, for a long time ago, and we want to respect this commitment not to involve politics in Justice. This is why we let the Minister who has the constitutional powers analyze the situation, and of course, it is his responsibility to announce what he thinks he has to. I don’t know what the Minister wants to do, more than he announced that he will publicly communicate related the result of the evaluation he has to do” he explained.
Asked if he knew about the discussions between the Justice Minister and President Klaus Iohannis, the ALDE Chairman said he didn’t.
“Do you think that we are hunting each other? What did you talk with that person, or with that person? Institutionally speaking, I didn’t have a meeting with the Minister, on which occasion he could inform us about this. Secondly – I think if it was something special, we’d have had communication means undoubtedly, beyond communication there is a phone, I don’t have any doubt that the Minister would have call me or Mr. Dragnea, or both of us, to tell us if there was something important” Taricenu added.
Asked if the Coalition will raise the same issue regarding the Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar after the decision related to Kovesi will be taken, the Senate’s Speaker replied: “We don’t raise the issue, because there is a separation of powers, and this is CSM’s responsibility, but was telling you, not necessarily as the Senate’s Speaker, although the Senate, as part of the Parliament, as the Higher Chamber of the Parliament, cannot stay indifferent to what is happening in the public space. We have the obligation to express an opinion, and I told you as the Senate’s Speaker, and also as an ordinary citizen, I don’t think we can talk about a real democracy, about freedom, about the rule of law in Romania, as long as there are such serious cases which are not investigated, and as long as the corresponding measures are not presented, in order to remedy these things”.
Also, being asked about labeling his statements as “political pressures on Justice”, Tariceanu said that he doesn’t have tough opinions, and that he represents the people who sent him in Parliament.
“I don’t have tough opinions, I am obliged, as a representative of the people, elected in Parliament, to publicly raise these issues, because we noticed since a long time ago that CSM, unfortunately, should have intervene by its own until now, and these very serious things shouldn’t have been revealed by the press. What would have happened without the press? CSM would have issued a report saying that everything is perfect. Therefore, I salute this approach of the independent press in Romania, and I am glad that the press has the role of a watchdog, because we see that certain institutions don’t do their job properly, they don’t fulfill their attributions, they don’t fulfill their responsibilities provided by the Constitution”, he added.
“Prosecutor General has distinguished himself as Kovesi’s adjutant. He’s like holy water”
Senate Speaker Calin Popescu-Tariceanu stated on Thursday that Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar has distinguished himself so far only as “an adjutant” of DNA Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi.
Asked whether replacing the DNA Chief Prosecutor would solve the problems in the judicial system, Tariceanu said: “I believe that faced with such abuses and grave illegalities, the Prosecutor General, the Judicial Inspection and the CSM have a responsibility that they must fully assume, so that confidence in justice would not be shattered. And I see that the Prosecutor General has made a request for the start of a probe that would be led by the same Mrs Kovesi. Well, in these conditions, it is like putting a wolf to guard the sheepfold. So far, the Prosecutor General has only distinguished himself as a sort of adjutant of Mrs Kovesi. The Prosecutor General is like holy water, you know how holy water is.”
Tariceanu pointed out he made this statement as a simple citizen, preoccupied with the way the judicial system functions.
“A clear distinction must be made between the activity of the prosecution and the activity of courts. I don’t want to generalise, but there are such grave signals that in any [other] country, the Prosecutor General, faced with such a situation, would have adopted a series of measures too, not to tolerate, to feign not noticing, and to probably give the impression that a hushing up is attempted and we’re not seeing anything. We see that new revelations are appearing every day, we express our concern and they do nothing,” the Senate Speaker claimed.
Tariceanu added that, in the case of the DNA scandal, the CSM’s reaction should have entailed ampler measures.
“The CSM’s reaction is correct but I believe that, faced with such a situation, the CSM should have taken much ampler and faster measures, because we’re in an entirely abnormal situation, it’s not a banal slip-up, we’re facing a revelation of unprecedented extent, illegalities committed by a group of prosecutors, and this sheds unfavourable light on the entire Prosecutor’s Office, because we can imagine that if such things have been tolerated until now, it probably happened elsewhere too. (…) Unfortunately, the CSM should have intervened on its own so far. These very grave things shouldn’t have been brought to the surface by the press. What would have happened had it not been for the press? The CSM would probably have written a report in which it would have said everything is working perfectly,” Calin Popescu-Tariceanu said.
CSM and Judicial Inspection locked in unprecedented conflict over report on DNA
The conflict within the judiciary is taking previously-unseen forms. The Judicial Inspection (IJ) has summoned the Supreme Magistracy Council (CSM) to reintroduce in the report on the activity of the DNA the negative fragments removed from the document, consisting of the critical findings made by the inspectors who carried out the assessment last summer. The Judicial Inspection is threatening the CSM with a lawsuit.
The IJ’s announcement came precisely on the day when Justice Minister Tudorel Toader was expected to present a “Report on the managerial activity at the DNA,” as he had announced on his Facebook account.
Judicial Inspection sues CSM
The Judicial Inspection has announced that it is suing the Supreme Magistracy Council’s (CSM) Section for Prosecutors.
The Judicial Inspection claims that the fragments noting the irregularities committed by DNA Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi were taken out of the report.
“Decision no.686/31.10.2017 of the CSM’s Section for Prosecutors noted the following aspects concerning the findings formulated through the Note dated 25.09.2017, part of the endorsement procedure regulated by the stipulations of Article 64(6) of the Regulations regarding the norms of Judicial Inspection audits, published in Official Journal no.802/29.11.2012, with subsequent modifications: ‘Regarding the circumstance that the Observations presented are not liable to impart a unitary character on the conclusions and propositions of the judicial inspectors, and could be deemed to be personal observations and conclusions, different from those of the judicial inspectors that directly carried out the audit, the Section for Prosecutors is set to reject them,’” the Judicial Inspection points out.
The endorsement, the expression of an opinion on an official issue
The mentioned source adds: “By definition, the endorsement entails the expression of an authorised opinion on an official issue. The regulations regarding the norms of the Judicial Inspection’s audits do not contain any kind of provisions in the sense that the observations formulated as part of the endorsement procedure should be liable to impart a unitary character on the conclusions and propositions of the judicial inspectors, not stipulating any obligation on the part of the leadership of the Directorate or the Judicial Inspection in the sense of harmonising the potentially different findings, conclusions or propositions of the judicial inspectors, included in the audit report.”
Prosecutor Mircea Negulescu heard at Prosecutor General’s Office
On Thursday morning, prosecutor Mircea Negulescu was subpoenaed at the headquarters of the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice, in order to be heard in regard to a complaint filed against him. The complaint was filed by a magistrate who was being probed in a dossier handled by Mircea Negulescu. The complaint was dismissed by the Prosecutor General’s Office, but the judges overruled the decision, noting the effective lack of an investigation.
Mircea Negulescu arrived at the Prosecutor General’s Office at 10.40 a.m. and refused to talk to the press. He apparently tried to enter through the secondary access point but was not allowed to do so.
The Supreme Magistracy Council’s Section for Prosecutors decided, on January 30, to exclude prosecutor Mircea Negulescu from the magistracy. Among other things, he was accused of contacting a suspect in several dossiers. The decision can be attacked at the High Court of Cassation and Justice.
Scandal at Prosecutor General’s Office. Ex-prosecutor Mircea Negulescu calls the police, claims RomaniaTV journalist assaulted him
Ex-prosecutor Mircea Negulescu protects himself from journalists by calling the police. Bothered that he was being grilled about his presence at the Prosecutor General’s Office, ex-prosecutor Mircea Negulescu called 112 and asked for the presence of a police unit, complaining that his life is at risk. Moreover, the controversial prosecutor, also known as ‘Orange,’ filed a complaint against a RomaniaTV reporter.
The incident took place when Mircea Negulescu left the Prosecutor General’s Office.
“I’m not making any comments. Don’t touch me. What do you want, you want to rob me? You put your hand in my pocket,” Negulescu said while journalists were grilling him, using “famous” terms that prosecutor Negulescu used in his “colourful” discourse, as seen in the recordings that Vlad Cosma has recently made public.
“I was outside the Prosecutor General’s Office, looking for the car of Mircea Negulescu, also known as Orange. When he showed up he had just gotten rid of the journalists waiting for him to come out of the Prosecutor’s Office headquarters. I only asked him ‘What’s up, Mirciulica [diminutive of Mircea]?” He got scared and ran away. This dialogue took place with 3 metres between us. If he believes I put his life at risk by calling him ‘Mirciulica’…,” RomaniaTV journalist Vali Mondoc, whom ex-prosecutor Mircea Negulescu has accused of aggression, said.